- Use barbless hooks. If you use a net, use one made of rubber. It is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it.
- Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease. Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.
- Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish. Needle nose pliers, hemostats, de-hookers etc., will speed up the removal of a deep set hook.
- To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater, do not move the fish back and forth (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo). If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.
C&R Fly Fish Only
Lost Cove Creek (game land portion, excluding Gragg Prong and Rockhouse Creek)
Elk River (portion on Lees-McRae College property, excluding the
Davidson River (headwaters to Avery Creek, excluding Avery Creek, Looking Glass Creek, and Grogan Creek)
South Toe River (portion form the concrete bridge above Black Mountain Campground downstream to game land boundary, excluding Camp Creek and Big Lost Cove Creek)